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Trolley Folly

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich history of Eureka Springs while enjoying the modern convenience of our trolleys. Our charming little town, nestled in the Ozarks, first embraced public transit in 1891.

Can you imagine our quaint little streets bustling with the rhythmic clatter of mule-drawn streetcars season after season in the late 1800s?

As the seasons changed, these mule-drawn streetcars continued to be an integral part of daily life in Eureka Springs. In winter, the mules would be adorned with woolen blankets to keep them warm, and the streetcars would be fitted with small stoves to provide heat for the passengers. In spring, the streets would be lined with blossoming flowers, adding vibrant colors to our picturesque postage-stamp town.

Mule-drawn trolley in Eureka Springs (circa 1890s)

By 1898, Eureka Springs had taken a leap into the future, retrofitting our streetcars with electric motors. The installation of overhead wires powered these marvels, and for 25 glorious years, the distinctive clickety-clack of streetcars echoed through the town. They journeyed along lower and upper Spring Street, climbed to the majestic Crescent and Thach. These fine establishments accommodated visitors and delighted residents and visitors alike.

While the Crescent, known today as America's most haunted hotel, still operates as one of Eureka Springs top places to stay when visitors come to town, the Thach sadly no longer exists. The Thach Cottage, as it was formally known back in the day, began as a small four-room house atop West Mountain and it was built in 1880 for the Thach family. Over the next few years, it was expanded into a hotel of more than 100 rooms. The hotel was easily reached from the train station below the hill by trolley car. Sadly, the Thatch burned in 1932 and only the stone wall stands today.

Thach Cottage, 1908

In the 1920s, it was the arrival of the automobile that brought an end to our beloved mode of trolley transportation. When the streetcars disappeared, it left behind only memories.

It wasn't until 1978—55 years later—that the spirit of the trolley was reborn in Eureka Springs. On July 31, 1978, the first modern trolley took to the streets, signaling a new era of transportation in town.

1978 - our first modern trolley in Eureka Springs.

The revival didn’t stop there. By 1984, with the support of the Federal Transit Administration, Eureka Springs acquired the properties that now house our Visitor Welcome Center and the Downtown Trolley Depot. The city also introduced rubber-tired trolleys, manufactured by the Chance Corporation, blending nostalgia with modern efficiency.

Trolley passing Lover's Leap on Spring Street (circa 1890s)

Today, when you visit us here in Eureka Springs, you can experience this unique blend of history and convenience because riding a trolley in Eureka Springs is not only easy and inexpensive, but it also requires no reservations.

With 115 stops spread throughout town, you can hop on and off at your leisure, making your exploration both relaxed, convenient and comprehensive.

To simplify your journey, our trolley routes are color-coded. Just look for the colored pennant on the front bumper and the matching banner on the side. Our fleet even includes mini-buses that complement the trolleys, ensuring you never miss a beat while touring the town.

The trolleys traverse every corner of Eureka Springs. Head west on Highway 62 to the Razorback Gift Shop, and from April to October, extend your journey to Thorncrown Chapel and Lake Leatherwood City Park. Travel north on Highway 23, also known as Main Street, to the Eureka Springs North Arkansas Railroad. Venture east on Highway 62 to the Alpen Dorf Motel (next to Good Shepherd Humane Society) turn-around or explore north on Passion Play Road to the entrance of the Great Passion Play. You can even ride south on Highway 23 to the Eureka Springs Convalescent Center.

Don’t miss the chance to glide through the largest historic district in Arkansas, right in the heart of Eureka Springs. Each ride on the trolley is a step back in time, offering a glimpse into the past while enjoying all the wonders of Eureka Springs offered here in modern day.

Flatiron Building, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Explore the Wonders of Eureka Springs

While you're here, make the most of your visit. The trolleys provide easy access to some of Eureka Springs' most treasured attractions.

Start your adventure at the Thorncrown Chapel, a stunning architectural marvel set in the woods, known for its serene beauty and spiritual ambiance.

Thorncrown Chapel

Next, take a leisurely ride to Lake Leatherwood City Park (, where you can enjoy hiking, picnicking, and the tranquility of nature. The park’s trails and scenic views are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and families looking to connect with the great outdoors.

Don’t forget to visit the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway, a must-see for history buffs and train enthusiasts. This historic railway offers a glimpse into the golden age of rail travel, complete with vintage trains and a charming station.

For a unique cultural experience, stop by the Great Passion Play. This renowned outdoor drama depicts the last week of Christ's life and is performed in an impressive amphitheater. Nearby, the Christ of the Ozarks statue stands as a striking landmark, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area.

As you travel through the historic district, be sure to explore the Crescent Hotel and Spa. This grand hotel, with its rich history and ghostly legends, offers guided tours, luxurious accommodations, and a relaxing spa.

A stroll down Spring Street

Finally, no visit to Eureka Springs would be complete without a stroll down Spring Street, where you can shop for unique local crafts, dine in charming cafes, and soak in the vibrant, whimsical atmosphere.

The mule-drawn streetcars were more than just a mode of transportation; they were a symbol of an era, a testament to the simplicity and charm of a bygone time. And although the streets no longer echo with their rhythmic clatter, the stories and memories continue to be passed down through generations, keeping the spirit of our history alive in this quaint little mountain town.

Visit Eureka Springs, Arkansas

There’s no better way to experience the magic of Eureka Springs than by riding our modern trolleys. It’s more than just a ride—it’s a journey through history, a gateway to natural beauty, and a ticket to unforgettable experiences. So, come visit Eureka Springs. Ride the trolley, explore the town, and create memories that will last a lifetime. We can’t wait to welcome you!❤️


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